A group in Cass County plans to hold a meeting next week to talk about the possible construction of a large hog confinement operation. Local members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (I-C-C-I) and Cass County Families against Factory Farms are organizing the effort to try and stop Harlan businessman Gary Weihs from building what they believe could be a five to seven-thousand head confinement facility near Anita.
Lisa Weiland, with I-C-C-I in Des Moines, says Weihs may be in the process of laying the groundwork for such a facility. Weiland says they believe Weihs is looking for some land to buy and she says people in the area want to stop the project before it starts. Weiland says a bill being proposed in the Iowa legislature deals with the issue of local control, and their group has come out in support of it. She says they believe that counties should be able to get local input and say yes or no to a proposed animal operation. She says the counties know what’s best for their area.
Weiland says there’s more at stake than just environmental concerns. Weiland says large-scale hog production has a huge impact on family farmers, so she says even if it’s not right next to you, if you’re raising hogs, it’ll have an impact on you. Weiland says it’s not just a neighbor-to-neighbor impact, it impacts the entire state. Next week’s meeting is scheduled to take place at seven p.m. Thursday (February 16th) at the Anita Community Center.